The Significance and Challenges of Coronations Throughout History

TLDR Coronations throughout history have been influenced by political and religious factors, with some being plagued by omens and calamities. They have served as a way for monarchs to solidify their legitimacy and assert their power, but also highlight the insecurity and anxiety of rulers during certain periods.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Coronations are reflections of changing political and religious passions, and the stories and biases surrounding them can shape how they are remembered in history.
05:30 Ethelred the Unready's coronation was plagued with terrible omens, such as him urinating in the font, which is a common occurrence in coronation stories, and this idea that the fate of the king is joined to the fate of the country is still very strong in the late Tudor and early Stuart period.
09:52 Kings are often forced to have grand coronations, even in weak positions, and some have calamitous coronations, such as Henry II having Thomas Beckett killed and Richard I causing a riot with Jews in the audience.
14:19 Kings who feel their power is unstable often beef up coronation rituals to solidify their legitimacy, such as Henry VI being crowned as king of France by English soldiers and crowned as king of England by his great uncle, but his reign was disastrous and led to the Wars of the Roses.
19:12 Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon have a grand coronation with a parade, procession, and festivities, while Anne Boleyn has a separate coronation due to her later marriage to Henry VIII.
23:23 Edward VI has a shorter coronation due to concerns about him getting tired, and it is the first Protestant coronation with changes to rituals and a focus on the king's royal power rather than priestly authority.
27:50 The coronation of Elizabeth I is heavily stage-managed with multiple pageants to assert the regime's legitimacy, while the actual coronation ceremony is muddled and confusing, suggesting that the procession is more important in sending out messages to the public.
32:22 The insecurity and anxiety of monarchs during this period is highlighted, as well as the two extremes of the divine right of kings and the idea of a republic that shape the events of the 17th century.
36:56 Henrietta Maria refuses to participate in Charles I's coronation due to her Catholic beliefs, and Charles I's coronation is marked by omens and mistakes, such as a broken dove and wearing the wrong clothes, while Oliver Cromwell's coronation as Lord Protector resembles a traditional coronation ceremony, and Charles II's coronation is attended by bad behavior and a general pardon for those involved in the Civil War.
41:29 Charles II's coronation is marked by Peeps missing most of the ceremonies, watching others eat at the banquet, and ending the day with drunkenness and vomiting.
45:34 The coronation of William and Mary is rushed due to the Glorious Revolution, resulting in Mary having a subpar crown and the establishment of the coronation oath.
49:51 The next episode will cover the coronations of the Georges and end with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Categories: History

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